exact

verb
ex·​act | \ig-ˈzakt \
exacted; exacting; exacts

Definition of exact 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to call for forcibly or urgently and obtain from them has been exacted the ultimate sacrifice— D. D. Eisenhower

2 : to call for as necessary or desirable

exact

adjective

Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exhibiting or marked by strict, particular, and complete accordance with fact or a standard

2 : marked by thorough consideration or minute measurement of small factual details

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Other Words from exact

Verb

exactable \ig-​ˈzak-​tə-​bəl \ adjective
exactor or less commonly exacter \ig-​ˈzak-​tər \ noun

Adjective

exactness \ig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for exact

Verb

demand, claim, require, exact mean to ask or call for something as due or as necessary. demand implies peremptoriness and insistence and often the right to make requests that are to be regarded as commands. demanded payment of the debt claim implies a demand for the delivery or concession of something due as one's own or one's right. claimed the right to manage his own affairs require suggests the imperativeness that arises from inner necessity, compulsion of law or regulation, or the exigencies of the situation. the patient requires constant attention exact implies not only demanding but getting what one demands. exacts absolute loyalty

Adjective

correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error. correct answers socially correct dress accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care. an accurate description exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth. exact measurements precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation. precise calibration nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination. makes nice distinctions right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault. the right thing to do

Do you exact or extract revenge?

Verb

The verb exact (as in, "exacting revenge" or "exacting a promise") is not as commonly encountered as the adjective exact, (as in "an exact copy" or "exact measurements"). Sometimes people will mistakenly use the more common verb extract when they really want exact. Extract can refer to removing something by pulling or cutting or to getting information from someone who does not want to give it. While both words refer to getting something they are used in different ways. You extract a tooth, but you exact revenge.

Did You Know?

Verb

Exact derives from a form of the Latin verb exigere, meaning "to drive out, to demand, or to measure." (Another descendant of exigere is the word exigent, which can mean "demanding" or "requiring immediate attention.") Exigere, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix ex- with the verb agere, meaning "to drive." Agere has been a very prolific source of words for English speakers; it is the ancestor of agent, react, mitigate, and navigate, just to name a few. Incidentally, if you are looking for a synonym of the verb exact, you could try demand, call for, claim, or require.

Examples of exact in a Sentence

Verb

They would not rest until they had exacted revenge. He was able to exact a promise from them.

Adjective

Those were his exact words. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. We don't know the exact nature of the problem. Predicting the path of hurricanes is not an exact science. The police have an exact description of the killer. Please take the most exact measurements possible. He is very exact in the way he solves a problem.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The company is committed to using only the finest premium down fills, sourced from European mills, and woven to exact specifications. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Scandia Down Comforters," 20 Nov. 2018 This time, Tiff plays a woman who, upon getting out of jail, tracks down the online catfisher of her responsible and high-powered sister to exact revenge. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "The Biggest Movies of Fall 2018," 25 July 2018 Louisville came back from a 1-0 deficit with a burst of offensive firepower to exact revenge on No. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "No. 20 Louisville baseball overpowers No. 6 Kentucky with offensive firepower," 17 Apr. 2018 Just moments after he was left writhing on the turf following a crunching challenge from Kenedy, Lacazette exacted revenge. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Wenger: Newcastle loss 'story of our season'," 15 Apr. 2018 The world has seen the financial toll the World Cup exacted on South Africa and Brazil, and is appropriately wary. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Chicago, Vancouver among cities saying no to World Cup - and FIFA has itself to blame," 15 Mar. 2018 Son exacted his own revenge six minutes later by turning in a Kieran Trippier cross. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Savvy Substitutions, Streetwise Juventus Deal Tottenham Another European Heartbreak," 7 Mar. 2018 Pelicans swoop and sailboats tack in the bay below, but the brilliant blue of the San Francisco afternoon is something of a guilty pleasure considering that on the other edge of America, Hurricane Florence is exacting its final ravages. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "Billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer on Impeaching Trump, Getting Out the Vote, and Winning in 2020," 14 Nov. 2018 The Girl in the Spider’s Web provides all the necessary backstory in flashbacks, along with an early scene in which Lisbeth exacts revenge on a bad man who never abused her but stands in for a host of others — the men who hate women, in other words. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Lisbeth Salander returns in the limp, faux-feminist The Girl in the Spider’s Web," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Not only has Yandex confirmed their locations, the scope of blurring reveals their exact size and shape. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Oops! Mapping Service Blurs Out Military Bases, But Accidentally Locates Secret Ones," 10 Dec. 2018 There's even, apparently, a slot the exact size of your iPad, because seat-back pockets are so 20th century. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "Renault's New Self-Driving Concept Car Is an Ultra-Luxe Lounge on Wheels," 3 Oct. 2018 All of the clocks on board remain stopped at 3:01, the exact time that Her Majesty disembarked for the last time. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Story Behind the Royal Family's Yacht, Britannia," 30 Sep. 2018 Baring will likely become the biggest shareholder in Pioneer, but the exact size of its stake has yet to be determined, the Pioneer spokesman said. Kosaku Narioka, WSJ, "Japan’s Pioneer to Get $500 Million Investment From Private-Equity Firm," 12 Sep. 2018 Neither Uber nor Lime disclosed the exact size of Uber’s investment. Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, "A Taste of Lime: Uber Invests in an Electric Scooter Company," 9 July 2018 Tucker said the exact size and placement of the green area could be adjusted. Staff Report, chicagotribune.com, "Development firm submits application for Purple Hotel redevelopment project," 9 July 2018 This time, it’s calendar, an advent calendar to be exact. Vogue, "Prioritizing Netflix’s Perfectly Cheesy Holiday Movies," 23 Nov. 2018 Hoo boy, does the ship have dining options—20, to be exact. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "We Can't Handle How Good the Food Will Be on Virgin Voyages," 7 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exact.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exact

Verb

1564, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exact

Verb

Middle English exacten "to require as payment," borrowed from Latin exāctus, past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, enforce payment of or the performance of (a task), require, inquire into, examine" from ex- ex- entry 1 + agere "to drive (cattle), be in motion, do, perform" — more at agent

Adjective

borrowed from Latin exāctus, from past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, require, inquire into, examine, measure" — more at exact entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near exact

Ex

exa-

exacerbate

exact

exacta

exact differential

exacting

Statistics for exact

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exact

The first known use of exact was in 1533

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More Definitions for exact

exact

verb

English Language Learners Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to demand and get (something, such as payment or revenge) especially by using force or threats

—used in phrases like exact a terrible toll and exact a high/heavy price to say that something has caused a lot of suffering, loss, etc.

exact

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: fully and completely correct or accurate

: very careful and accurate

exact

adjective
ex·​act | \ig-ˈzakt \

Kids Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: completely correct or precise : accurate an exact copy the exact time

Other Words from exact

exactly adverb
exactness noun

exact

verb
exacted; exacting

Kids Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: to demand and get by force or threat They exacted terrible revenge.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exact

Spanish Central: Translation of exact

Nglish: Translation of exact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exact for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exact

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